Black Panther: Doom's Day

Jonathan Maberry turns up the heat in BLACK PANTHER #12 as the countdown to DoomWar continues



BLACK PANTHER #12 preview art by Will Conrad
By Jim Beard

To say it's hot in the Black Panther's native Wakanda would be something of an understatement; the situation in the famous jungle nation has reached a fever pitch. Our heroes find themselves on the edge of a precipice, staring into the abyss-and making matters worse, DoomWar's just around the corner.

"Wakanda has fallen to an enemy that really caught them off guard," explains Jonathan Maberry of BLACK PANTHER #12, due January 13 with art by Will Conrad. "The nation is split between political factions, and a strong extremist group is in power. With [former Panther] T'Challa and [current Panther] Shuri both absent during the uprising, the usurpers are free to use Storm as a symbol of all that's wrong with modern Wakanda: she's foreign born, she's a witch and she's been rendered powerless. We open with [T'Challa's wife] Storm on trial for her life and a jury that's stacked against her. And behind the scenes is Doctor Doom, moving everyone around like chess pieces. This isn't an open attack by Doom, it's more subtle and insidious than that."

The writer notes that the one-time Panther, his successor and his bride "know that they've been out-played" and must bring their collective A-game to gain some advantage in the escalating conflict.

"Part of that includes bringing in some serious muscle in the form of some X-Men," Maberry says. "As the battle escalates T'Challa will draw on other resources such as the Fantastic Four and even Deadpool. This begins a chess game between Doom and T'Challa, with each positive that they can outwit the other. So far, Doom's winning."

Much of the current action in the BLACK PANTHER title revolves around the newest warrior to wear the weighty mantle of Wakanda's protector: Shuri, sister of T'Challa; and the woman warrior's mettle's about to be put to the most harrowing of tests.

"In the previous issue we see cracks beginning to show in Shuri's cool," notes Maberry. "Once she adopted the [roles] of Panther and Princess Regent she's been playing it very cool, faking the calm dispassion her brother always showed; but in truth she's hot-headed and arrogant. In DoomWar we see her anger go to a whole new level, and we also see

BLACK PANTHER #12 preview art by Will Conrad
some real evidence that the Panther God made no mistake in choosing her as the new Panther. Whether she will be able to continue to earn the right to be the Black Panther is something we'll explore as DoomWar rolls out."

In addition to new faces, BLACK PANTHER #12 also features old favorites such as the Fantastic Four, Namor the Sub-Mariner and of course, Doctor Doom. Maberry's more than aware of-and terrifically excited about-the long and deep history between his players.

"Doom and T'Challa are much alike: they're both proud leaders of their countries, they're both super geniuses, they're both 'ordinary' men who use technology and magic to enhance their physical abilities, and they're both 'big picture' tacticians who sometimes prioritize victory over the human cost," he says. "They have fought so often that each knows how the other thinks. Doom tumbled to this first, and he changed his game by bringing in other players, notably the Broker, a villain who acts as advisor and foreman for Doom's global support network. It's up to T'Challa to find an x-factor that will change his own game and allow him to make unpredictable moves.

"Namor and T'Challa are very old friends, and Doom cleverly implicated Namor in the attack of T'Challa. The full extent of that damage remains to be seen."

At the core of BLACK PANTHER #12 lays the intertwined hearts of T'Challa and his queen, Ororo. Though they operate as a team along with the new Black Panther, their differences also rise to the surface, making the series' drama all the more poignant.

"T'Challa and Storm are very much in love, and they are the heart of the Wakandan Royal Family," Maberry proclaims. "Shuri knows this and accepts it. But for many months now both Shuri and T'Challa have kept their distance from Storm, cutting her out of all of their preparations for the war with Doom. There is a very good reason for this that we'll see in DOOMWAR #1. Once Storm is back in the game as a major player, she will

BLACK PANTHER #12 preview art by Will Conrad
have a lot of reason to want serious payback. T'Challa and Shuri will also need some payback, because in one way or another Doom has done irreparable harm to each of them. Sometimes revenge isn't a dish best served cold; sometimes it's best blazing hot right out of the fire."

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      I haven't seen anything about it being cancelled. Thought it was picking up after Doomwar. I did notice it is no longer available as a subscription on Marvel subcriptions, that's my only hint of it, but haven't heard anything from Marvel.


      [quote@silentprocess Black Panther has been canceled.[/quote] where did you read it? What was the reason? The artist Will Conrad just came out of surgery I think( rumor also ).


      I've been hearing rumors that the Black Panther is cancelled. What's up? Is it true? The series is at an all time high right now. The Black Panter is my book and favorite character, somebody needs to updated me....Wizard somebody.